Saturday, July 28, 2007

Jumper Patterns on Women of a Certain Age

Yes, I "borrowed" the title from a folder at Patternreview. Last week my good fiber friend, Marji, directed me to this folder at PR. Now as you know I am not a huge PR fan, even though Marji and Karla both have encouraged me to give it another try...and I am...but I digress because this was actually an interesting discussion.

I think this conversation definitely highlights a time in a woman's life when she has to really decide who is she is and what image she wants to portray to the world or whether she even cares about putting something out there...gone are the days of our youth when we can experiment with any style trying to figure out what we wanted to say about ourselves that day! Because age and life has a funny way of changing your body, so that even though you have grown in wisdom and knowledge, your body has grown in other to speak! *smile*

However, this post is not about "Our Bodies, Our Selves" but about the fact that I came squarely down on the side of yes, you can wear jumpers at a certain age...But and there is a big but here, I think they should be as fashionable as the designers meant for them to be. I don't think denim jumpers with appliques are the looks that the designers are bringing back. I don't think shapeless sacks in navy watchplaid is dialing up the latest fashion looks...The jumpers being shown now have a sleekness and feminity to them harking back to the looks of the 50's.

Now why am I posting about this...because I had to find room in my "sewing books" bookshelves for the Chanel book that I purchased at the Met two weeks ago. And in moving some things around, I discovered a magazine holder that contained several older versions of Burda World of Fashion circa 1993-1995! I didn't even realize that I had BWOF going back that far. I knew that I had occasionally picked one up at the newsstand in NYC but I didn't realize that I had held onto them this long.

This is what I found in several of them:

BWOF - Sept 1995

BWOF October 1995

And this is what is inspiring me in jumpers now:

Simplicity 3673 - I really like the jumper with the flare skirt. And the interesting detail of this jumper is how there are pleats to give definition to the waistline. I won't belt it but anything that makes my waist look slimmer is a good thing!

McCalls 5464 - now y'all know that I am boycotting McCalls 'cause this pattern only comes up to a size 20. However, I really like this look! And I can really see this pattern in some faux leather - or maybe even real leather since Fabric Mart is selling skins!

And this is what I made earlier this year:

Finally patterns found in my quite large pattern stash!

Vogue 1200 - OOP - the sleeveless duster becomes a jumper with the shirt from the pattern worn underneath it.

McCalls 6670 - OOP - see I haven't always had beef with McCalls! I have quite a few McCalls patterns in my stash!

McCalls 6782 - OOP - This is from the "Sew News Collection" of patterns and wouldn't this look great in a wool doubleknit or a heavier weight rayon/lycra knit. Y'all know that this is going into my fall sewing rotation, right?! *LOL*

Since I am a woman of a certain age ~ I definitely declare this look wearable! Now what about you will you make a jumper for the fall season? Or do you think it is just not for a woman over a certain age????

P.S. ~ I am not at my friend, Lisa's, house this weekend due to some personal issues with my children.

P.P.S. ~ I have an amazing collection of patterns stashed away in binders. I have pulled a few to look at, maybe even to incorporate into my fall wardrobe. And does anyone remember when Vogue did a series of patterns called, "Very Easy, Very Vogue career"? I found quite a few of them in my pattern stash...Guess what I am going to be using this fall...some of these wonderful, classic looks! Finally, I must own every Tamotsu pattern Vogue published in the late '80s/early 90s. *LOL*

I am off to sew! Enjoy your sewing journeys, today and every day!


  1. You've got to stop reading my mind! I went over to Simplicity this morning for some other reason and saw that new jumper pattern.

    At any rate, I have been toying with the idea of a jumper for fall. Normally jumpers aren't one of those "gotta have" garments for me, instead I usually avoid them like the plague. They remind me of the 80's style denim jumpers usually with buttons down the front, a big ruffle around the bottom, slightly empire waist and a big fluffy white shirt to go with it. Ick - and yes, I have colleagues that still wear similar things.

    These newer more refined patterns are definitely tempting - maybe in black or dark charcoal grey - I love the flared skirt, but if I get the fit right, the straight ones might work. I think making it work for "women of certain age" would include making sure the style is up to date (no "I had this jumper still in the closet from the 80's"), the fit is right and the accessories are right.

  2. I think we're all "channeling" each other, quite frankly!

    I had my reservations about jumpers for all the reasons mentioned on your blog and the PR board. I think those denim monstrosities ruined jumpers for a lot of us.

    I bought Simplicity 3631 at JoAnn's yesterday primarily for the bell-sleeved jacket. But I noticed there's also a nice jumper included with the pattern. I'm tempted, I tell you.

  3. I *LOVE* that last McCalls you posted!!!!!

  4. So, how do you know when you're of a "certain age"? Until someone can definitively answer that one for me, I say wear what you want, when you want. As long as you are tasteful and stylish, I don't think there is necessarily an age dress code. A woman of any age has a choice in whether she presents herself as fabulous or trashy or frumpy or's all in how you present yourself and how you interpret a trend.

    As far as the jumper goes, I will be making one or more - just not in washed out denim, not with kitty appliques and not ankle length. I think part of the problem is the word "jumper" - we all have this nasty preconceived notion of what a jumper looks like and it ain't pretty. I will from now on be referring to this article of clothing as "layering dress". So, Carolyn, I will join you in making a new layering dress for fall. We are going to look so hot!!

  5. I'm headed to that certain age myself. I don't let that keep me from trying out some of the latest fashions. Sometimes it doesn't work, most of the time it does. I just have to keep a critical eye.

    Jury is still out with me and jumpers. I didn't like them as a kid, didn't like them as teen and don't think I like them on me as an adult. I am so short it looks like a schoolgirl outfit, and not in a good way.

  6. Wow, we must have all seen that denim jumper with the appliques and the fullness that said "frumpy". Because of that jumper look I have stayed away from them. I have to say I like the look of the Simplicity jumper. Still not sure that I will incorporate one in my fall sewing or not.

    Carolyn, I too for awhile there bought just about every Tamotsu pattern Vogue offered. Still some in my pattern collection. Which has quadrupled over the past several months.

  7. Carolyn, I think the patterns that you have chosen will really work for you. I, too, am of a certain age and shape that I don't think jumpers will work for me. Reminds me too much of wearing jumpers to school. Hated them then and still do. However, a lot of folks look really cute in them.
    Happy Stitching!
    Marty in West TN

  8. Yes!! As soon as I finish with my current project I'm going to make up that McCalls Jumper. And I love the Simplicity. As I said to a designer friend today, that kind of line makes "the girls" look perky. And that's a very good thing when you hit a certain age!

  9. Carolyn, I like the look of the 'layering' piece. I agree with Shannon - how do you know when you're 'of a certain age.'

    Hope everything is okay with The Supremes and you're just enjoying the unexpected company. g

  10. I don't think age has anything to do with it! If the "jumper" is more of a dress with a layer underneath then it can look very stylish. Length, fabric and accessories are the key I think.

  11. Some of newer jumper patterns are pretty good, I must admit. However, I'm going to stick with my conviction that a dress with the same lines is more elegant. The world will not have to opportunity to see me in a jumper and say "What was she thinking?" They'll have plenty of other opportunities to say it.

  12. Audry Hepburn wore jumpers. They weren't those jumpers from the 80's that I have to admit that I wore (hey, I was a special education teacher then and needed cutesy) but tone on tone pure elegance.

    I still wear "jumpers" but they are more streamlined and elegant looking (like the ones you show here, Carolyn). With my shape, they look much better on me than a top and skirt and when I'm wearing a blazer, they don't look very "jumper-like."

  13. I recently watched "Desk Set" with Katherine Hepburn. In one scene, she wore a great jumper/blouse outfit. Very early 50s and she looked great. And if anyone was "a certain age" by that point, it was Kate Hepburn. I think the issue is not jumper vs. dress or jumper vs. skirt/blouse. I think it's jumper that is stylish, fashionable and shows off your best physical points and one of those shapeless mid-calf numbers I still keep seeing (who is making those things still? I realize that a lot of folks in the "modest dressing" movement think they are the "go-to" garment, but frankly, those don't seem to do anything for any woman I have seen wearing them. Period). Personally, I think the key here is to think of the dress that makes you look the best and imagine it with no sleeves on it and your wearing a great blouse or turtleneck with it. It that image makes you smile, then I think making the modifications to the dress pattern would work. My two cents.

  14. My two pennies? I'm keeping my mouth shut on this one. ;)

  15. Thats one that I could make for myself and my 21 year old daughter. LOL. The McCall is very interesting, but I really love the BWOF jumper/ My dd wants me to start making her a more grown up, career oriented wardrobe as she is graduating from college this spring. Its a great layering, multi season wardrobe piece that could work in a nice office swap.

  16. Hell, yes. I never stopped wearing them. Fashion be damned.

    I posted a couple of faves that I sewed:

  17. I myself have worn a jumper or 2 as an adult, mostly when I was thinner. I did see the Simplicity pattern and I love it, however, I don't think my body type would look good in them. However, I think if one has the figure for the more stylish jumpers, then go for it. I'll just live vicariously.

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  19. I think we're all "channeling" each other, quite frankly!


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